Chiefs pound PG for two game series lead

The Chilliwack Chiefs scored early and often in an 8-1 rout of the Prince George Spruce Kings Saturday night.

Craig Puffer of the Chilliwack Chiefs moves in to score the team's fifth goal of the game against Prince George Spruce Kings at Prospera Centre on Saturday evening.

The Chilliwack Chiefs took care of business on home ice Friday night, blowing out the Prince George Spruce Kings 8-1 at Prospera Centre.

The Chiefs opened up a 2-0 lead in their second round best-of-seven series that now heads north for games three and four, Monday and Tuesday in PG.

If the Spruce Kings make a habit of starting slowly, this series won’t go beyond a fourth game.

For the second straight night the Chiefs staked themselves to a 3-0 lead, with Mason Boh opening the scoring at 10:18.

Brandon Tkachuk started the play with a chip up the left-wing boards that caught PG defenceman Cole McCaskill flat-footed.

The big blueliner was slow to pivot as the puck squirted past him. Boh the speedster was on it in a flash, taking off toward the Spruce Kings net. From 12 feet out he snuck a backhand shot through the legs of Prince George keeper Jesse Jenks.

The home team doubled the lead at 15:40 when Mark Esposito snuck down from the point, took a cross-ice pass from Kurt Black and punched the puck past Jenks for his first of the post-season.

The teams traded power play goals late in period one, with Tipper Higgins scoring for Chilliwack and Braiden Epp for PG.

Shots on goal through 20 minutes favoured the visitors, 11-9.

Jenks was pulled to start the second period, replaced by backup Alex Brooks-Potts.

The second stringer let in the first shot he faced when Jordan Kawaguchi came out of the left corner and fed Higgins, who buried a shot from the slot for his second of the game and team-leading ninth of the playoffs.

The third shot Brooks-Potts faced also found its way into the net, though it was hard to blame the keeper.

Jordan Kawaguchi threw a centering pass on goal from the left wing boards. Brooks-Potts made the first save on Craig Puffer, but was on his butt as the Connecticut kid hammered home the rebound.

Speaking of butts, less than a minute later Ryan Bowen was on his in the neutral zone.

The Chilliwack native was still able to nudge the puck ahead, springing Boh and Jake Larson for a two-on-one. Larson buried Boh’s pass for his first of the post-season, giving his team a 6-1 lead.

The home team got one more before the middle frame was done when a Prince George bench minor put them on the power play.

Jake Hand took a lap around the attacking zone, and from the right faceoff dot fed a cross-ice pass to Vincent Desharnais at the bottom of the left faceoff circle.

The towering D-man, who had one goal in the regular season, finished for his first of the playoffs with 50.8 seconds left on the clock.

Shots on goal through 40 minutes favoured Chilliwack 22-16.

Up by six heading to the final frame, Chiefs head coach Jason Tatarnic opted to give goalie David Jacobson a breather, replacing him with backup Aidan Pelino.

Chilliwack’s lead grew to 8-1 5:15 into period three, with Puffer scoring his second of the game on a power play.

That snipe wrapped up the scoring, with the rest of the game passing quietly.

The three stars were Desharnais (first), Boh (second) and Puffer (third).

The Fortis BC Energy Player of the Game was Brandon Tkachuk.

Announced attendance was 1,509.

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